Joined: 18 Sep 2012
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Have a JD. Considering MBA to advance career... [#permalink]
18 Sep 2012, 14:38
Hello. I am considering applying to enroll in an MBA program. I am in a pretty unique situation. I would be interested in hearing some of your perspectives. First, assume cost is not an issue (I am enrolled in Income-Based Repayment, so expanding student loan debt is not going to hurt. I have already modeled this). I have 2 primary questions: A) What are my chances at Harvard/Stanford at 2 and 3 years out of school, respectively (details below); and B) What can I expect in terms of exit opportunities and long-term vertical mobility?
Some background on me: I have a J.D. (with a few MBA courses and a focus in transactional/corporate law) with average grades from a top 30 law school. I scored 740 on the GMAT. My undergraduate GPA was a 3.6 at an unimpressive public school. Since I finished law school, I passed the bar, practiced commercial bankruptcy law (Ch11's) for a small firm for about 7 months, took a project at McKinsey as (basically) a contracted associate for 5 months, and now work for a Fortune 50 as a senior analyst in supply chain. I had good summer internships (including an M&A summer attorney position) throughout undergrad and law school (I went straight through, basically). I am pretty sure that I could get good LOR's from a partner at McKinsey and from a VP at my current company. I am a white male, and I think I interview moderately well. I think that those are the most relevant facts about me. I am planning to apply after either 1 year of work at my current job (so, 2 years out of law school; I would have 3 years of experience by the time school started) or 2 years at my current job. What are my chances of getting into either school? I think that, in the case I retested the GMAT after studying again, I would score between 720-770 (I am much better at math and grammar than when I previously took the test). I really do not want to go through that experience again, but would consider it -- how much would a better score help with business school admittance and long-term career prospects?
As for my second question, a big part of my interest in going to business school is to put myself on a good career path. Basically, I want a job with a very good work/life balance, and I would like to earn $130k-$220k (in inflation-adjusted dollars) in ATL/MIA/SD after about 6 more years of work experience (I currently have good hours and earn about $90k after bonus, not counting good benefits, and I earned about double that by the end of my project at McKinsey). Although I would greatly prefer pretty reasonable hours and a slow pay progression throughout, I would be willing to work fairly hard for 3 years if I knew that I could limit myself to 40h/w after that, while still landing as high as possible in that salary range. Do jobs like this exist for MBA-type folks? If so, what are these jobs? Would an MBA with mediocre grades from Harvard/Stanford substantially help me get one of these jobs, or would a degree from one of those schools not offer an upgrade from 2 extra years of work experience and the J.D. that I have already obtained? As far as skills, I am very good with Excel, and I have a good understanding of statistics/economics/accounting/finance, but am certainly not a statistician/economist/accountant/banker. (As a side question -- I think that there is some chance that I could land a permanent associate position at McKinsey; would that substantially help me get one of those jobs?) Tangential opinions and perspectives appreciated, as well. FWIW, I really like my current job and am happy with my earnings for this point in my life, but I am concerned about a lack of long-term vertical mobility. Yes, aspects beyond salary and hours are important to me, but I have liked most teams that I have worked with, and I enjoy a wide spectrum of thought-intensive work.
This was long. Hopefully, it was in the most appropriate forum. Please let me know if I need to clarify anything or provide more info. Thanks!